The Sunday Mail
It is difficult to understand why he is crying, for himself or for Reeva? It seems to be more a ploy to win sympathy. If it is, then it is a poorly considered tactic; far from winning over the hearts of thinking observers, the 27-year-old athlete has only managed to come across as shamelessly calculating.
There is something quite objectionable about Pistorius weeping more than the bereaved, the mother of the woman he killed sits quietly composed in court, only wiping a tear at times of immense distress.
In his evidence-in-chief on April 8 Pistorius described how he found the fatally wounded Reeva in the toilet cubicle soon after he had shot her four times: “I sat over Reeva and I cried. I don’t know how long I was there for. She wasn’t breathing,” he said, breaking in howling sobs, resulting in the court’s adjournment.
One online reader remarked: “Crying is not a sign of innocence and truth. He (Pistorius) clearly realises what he did and feels bad about it, but what I am disgusted with is instead of trying to say poor Reeva and clear his name he is trying to play the poor me card. Think of all the crying, suffering and loss Reeva’s death caused.”
Although he remains innocent until presiding Judge Thokozile Masipa finds him guilty, it is still a matter of interest to find out why he is so emotional: throwing up in court and crying so uncontrollably.
Is this genuine or Pistorius is one damn good actor who has been coached to upstage the deceased Reeva in court in order to get the judge’s attention and invoke people’s sympathies, for we are seeing that there is a growing legion of sympathisers willing to buy his narrative, though it be fraught with inconsistencies.
There have already been a number of troubling revelations, there has been chilling testimony revealing that Pistorius was a control freak who wanted things done his way.
Reeva was abruptly brushed off in public; Pistorius wanted her to change her accent; He forbade her from chewing gum.
The youthful relationship was full of arguments with Reeva telling him that sometimes she was scared of him.
Pistorious’ sympathisers refuse to acknowledge that many things in his evidence do not add up.
Pistorius testified that they had gone to bed around 10pm and he only woke up (around 3am) to bring in two fans from the balcony.
He also told the court that Reeva was awake and they exchanged a few words, but added that after that he heard sounds coming from the bathroom, “That’s the moment that everything changed. The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself”.
Moments later, Pistorius had shot down Reeva who a moment back was awake, but was suddenly locked up in the bathroom.
When you listen to Pistorius’ side of the story, you also wonder about all the screaming, crying, calling out and running that he did. How did he manage to have so much done in so short a time? No paralysis from shock?
In an attempt to save his skin, Pistorius wants us to believe that he spoke to Reeva.
As it turns out, there was no Reeva on that bed to whisper to, to call the police which should have been his first reaction.
There was no Reeva to scream to because he had pumped four deadly bullets in her body.
Pistorius’ personal finances are taking quite a beating, the legal costs for his defence as significant.
In the event that he is acquitted, what he does afterwards will be quite telling.
The interest in the killing and the high-profile trial will likely be followed by attractive book and movie deal offers from unscrupulous Americans.
Will a broke Pistorius accept any such offers and effectively profit from the death of a woman he killed?
Pistorius can perform as much as he wants, but I hope the South African justice system will not be manipulated by his courtroom theatrics.
Pistorius seems not to mind that June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, is sitting in that same courtroom with him, taking everything in with a stony face and when it looks like she can’t bear it anymore she just bows down.
Once in a while she wipes her eyes. Reeva was her daughter but she has not once howled. She has seen the same distressing pictures shown to the court, but she has not thrown up.
This is the woman who should be crying.
She is also the woman whose emotional and psychological anguish should force the prosecution to call for adjournments. She deserves the people’s sympathy and support, for not many people can take in the pain that she started taking in since February 14, 2013.
She also needs that support because since the murder of her daughter, it has been Oscar’s story: Oscar the underdog, Oscar the champion athlete, his entitlements, fears, emotions, finances, past glories, losses, guns and fast cars, temperament; and, the apologetic and tearful Oscar. Oscar, Oscar, Oscar! And never Reeva!
As a woman, I have looked at the Pistorius trial from June Steenkamp’s point of view, because she is the one person who has to make sense of all the pain that her daughter suffered, pain that she now has to re-live through a lengthy trial. It must be like a second murder of her daughter.
June Steenkamp is the one person the court and the whole world expected to cry uncontrollably. She is the one person who could have retched as she listened to the first responder’s testimony, then the pathologist’s post-mortem report and the forensic specialist’s report.
Indeed, June Steenkamp could have caused the court’s adjournment many a time, but it’s as if she is weaving a tapestry of evidence in order to come to terms with the violent death her daughter met that Valentine’s in 2013.
Because she is Reeva’s mother, she understands what motherhood means. In my view, June Steenkamp cannot afford to lose it for to do so would be to betray her daughter’s trust as a loving and caring mother. It would mean missing out on every small detail of the court’s proceedings. She needs all of that in order to mourn her daughter and move on.
We don’t want to prejudge the outcome of the case but we cannot help but ask ourselves this absurd question: how often did Pistorius weep and howl when he was preparing for the trial?
If he had been this emotionally anguished, the trial might never have taken place and his defence team might have recommended that because of the state of his emotions, he was not fit to stand trial. His defence would have seen the evidence against him and shared it with him. If his tears are sincere then one would imagine his reaction was similar. It seems very unlikely.
It goes without saying that Pistorius is no ordinary white South African male, but someone who against odds defied disability to become one of the world’s fastest Paralympics sprinters. He is emotionally and psychologicallyexperienced. Boers are made of tough stuff and it is quite peculiar to see him wailing in this way. The trial proceeds.